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Using Data to Promote Equity in School Discipline

April 18, 2019


REL Northwest developed this training series to help schools and districts improve their school discipline policies and practices. The series provides resources to help school and district teams use data to identify areas of concern related to the overuse of exclusionary discipline or disproportionality in assigning discipline to student groups, such as students of color or students with disabilities. The training series also helps teams use evidence to identify interventions, develop an action plan, track their effectiveness, and inform improvement decisions.

There are five parts in this series, each of which is described below: an introduction and four work sessions. The work session materials are designed to be flexible and modular. Schools or districts that are in the beginning stages of improving their school discipline practices may find the entire series useful. Other schools or districts that are already using evidence-based school discipline systems and/or regularly using data to guide school discipline improvement may only need selected work sessions—or even parts of a session—to address specific needs.

The Training Guide for Using Data to Promote Equity in School Discipline was developed for the Equity in School Discipline Collaborative. It was piloted in Oregon and Washington school districts over the course of four months, with training dates on February 15, March 15, April 6, and May 25, 2018. Formative feedback was noted during each pilot training and used to revise the training materials. By request, the revised training materials were made available in April 2019.

Introduction: Planning and Facilitating Work Sessions to Improve School Discipline

These introductory materials provide information on how school and district teams can use the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle to improve school discipline. It also suggests ways to select and use the work session materials to support planning and monitoring their school improvement efforts.

Work Session: Revising School Discipline Policies and Procedures to Promote Equity

In this session, REL Northwest provides materials to help districts teams review school discipline policies so that they focus on prevention and limit the use of exclusionary discipline. The session materials also provide resources to help teams organize and plan revision of their district’s school discipline policies.

Work Session: Using School Discipline Data to Pinpoint Concerns and Track Progress

In this session, REL Northwest provides materials to help school and district team members use discipline data to pinpoint school discipline concerns and communicate these concerns to administrators, teachers, and families. Teams will also discuss how to use data for continuous improvement efforts using the Plan-Do-Study-Act model.

Work Session: Using Reflection Groups to Learn How Families and Educators View Their School or District

In this session, REL Northwest provides materials to help school and district teams learn why the perspectives of educators and family members are important for improving equity in school climate and discipline. The session also includes materials to help teams plan and facilitate reflection groups with families and educators.

Work Session: Identifying Strategies to Promote Equity in School Discipline

In this session, REL Northwest provides materials to help school and district teams learn what the research says about school or classroom discipline practices associated with lower rates of suspensions. The session also includes materials to help teams identify potential root causes that contribute to school discipline concerns and choose school or district practices to improve discipline practices.